Blogs from Picardy, France, Europe

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Europe » France » Picardy » Amiens June 17th 2014

Arrivederci Venice Already I miss the sounds of the gondoliers in the canal beneath our hotel window. In the morning we heard their easy banter as they prepared their gondolas for the day. Later in the day and in the evening, there was often the sound of a piano accordion playing and a tenor singing, “O Solo Mio” to rousing applause by the onlookers. There was always happy chatter and laughter from the constant flood of tourists being taken for their 40-minute ride around the canals. Our home for the past four nights has been the Hotel Lisbona, an old Venetian hotel with velvet wallpaper, tapestries and chandeliers. We were on the third floor and as these hotels don’t have lifts, it wasn’t easy getting the luggage, or ourselves up and down. This is definitely not ... read more
Stairs to our room.
Riolta Bridge
The market

Europe » France » Picardy » Le Crotoy June 7th 2014

After all it’s now more than 2months since we got back from our Vietnam / Bangkok trip and tans are starting to fade. We seem to have been very busy between then and now. When I’m not making glass, I’m whizzing down the motorway to visit my Baddeley family and Bob has been doing more development of his railway in the loft. Travelwise we’ve had a 4 day trip in the Tandy to Dorset, just after Easter, when we stayed near Charmouth and scootered into Lyme Regis and Beer. Not forgetting the weekend camp in Alton with Liz and Graham. We have a new scooter which we tried out on the Dorset trip. A bright white Kisbee. The Diesis was lovely and loyal but it was getting older, we are heavier and the poor thing was ... read more
Bluebells in Dorset and our new scooter
family wedding
Blue tit just left the nest

Europe » France » Picardy » Laon May 24th 2014

We decided to have breakfast in the restaurant again this morning and it was lovely to sit overlooking the beautiful gardens. After packing up, I went back to get the car and found it parked with both an AMG Mercedes and a McLaren!! Our Renault is firmly outclassed here! We checked out then had a great little play in the gardens before moving on closer to Dunkirque for our ferry tomorrow, The AirBnB app on the phone was playing up so we lost the address… Double back to Maccas (again) and use the wifi to find the place. After taking almost 5 hours for a 3 ½ hour drive, we finnaly found our B&B which was a rustic old converted farm. The stables and other buildings have all been turned into guest rooms and are quite ... read more
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Europe » France » Picardy » Laon May 23rd 2014

Breakfast was lovely this morning and after having our fill, mum had to book our ferry ride to England so Em and I played for a while outside, exploring the nearby creek and old barn. We then headed off to our next place – a real French Chateau! Through the rolling green landscape of France, we wound our way down some tiny single lane back roads to the chateau. Amazing!! This was the real deal with immaculate landscaped gardens, full silver service and beautifully furnished and maintained buildings. True to the “family friendly” tag on the website, there was even a games room for kids with board games, cards and playstation and wii for the bigger kids. We parked our car beside a very nice red porsche and checked in where we got welcome drinks served ... read more
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Europe » France » Picardy » Abbeville May 8th 2014

Bonjour! Just as you were all wondering where we are - I thought it was time to check in and update you. We took our time driving down to the Haute Pyrenees. It was a pleasure to drive off motorway and take our time looking at all France has to offer on the way. Plus we saved about 100 euros in toll charges so Monsieur was tres content! We found it quite difficult to get on wifi on the way down as we don't believe in paying for it. So hence the delay in getting properly started with the blog. However, we aim to be more regular from now on. Abbaye de Valloires was simply divine - pardon the pun. It is a 12th century Cistercian Abbey in the Department of Somme. Today it is managed ... read more
Abbaye de Valloires
Abbaye de Valloires
Abbaye de Valloires

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Europe » France » Picardy » Beauvais May 6th 2014

Day 2 – France Hillaire Beloc made the statement that “He had wandered all his life and he had travelled. The difference we wander for distraction and we travel for fulfilment”.. Those words rang in my ears on Day 2 of the trip. I have been a wanderer. I have lived in 12 homes and worked at probably twice as many locations and both have been distractions. I probably haven’t travelled as much as some but when I do travel it is for fulfilment, to understand different cultures and learn all the time about life. This trip would be no different. Hopefully upon our return we would know more than before we left and we would have precious memories to take forward. We had a good nights sleep which was surprising given all the noise from ... read more
poem on the columns
on the road again
a reminder to the french drivers that they have an indicator on their cars

Europe » France » Picardy September 16th 2013

Hi Here again just to tell you we have had a lovely walk with Sophie around the Baie de Somme . We met another couple with a French border collie that looked just like Sophie's brother both the same age both from farms one French one Somerset. It was breezy but sunny. We have booked the vet for the return journey and the last two nights before the ferry back so that is organized. Now trying to plan our route south the first hop will be to a site near Angers not far from Le Manns Justin. So next installment will be from around there . Hopefully the anti sway will be working too . Met some English people on site all very friendly. See yer.... read more

Europe » France » Picardy » Somme June 16th 2013

The church bells rang this morning as I ran towards the town of Misery. I waved to a solitary farmer, then made my way down the lane and past the chateau. Here and there, lone poppies poked through the wildflowers, and I think I found those almost as poignant as the rows and rows of white gravestones we saw later in the day at Villers-Bretonneux. 46,000 Australians died on the Western Front, and as I ran along the roads they would have marched, it was as though each poppy represented one of them. Back at Maison Warlop, we had a lovely chat with Neil and Vicky and another couple from England over a very festive breakfast of fresh bread and preserves, brioche with young goat's cheese and great coffee. Hugo was thrilled with his pot of ... read more
Frank among the Graves
L'Ecole Victoria
Les Moulin des Chennevieres Giverny

Europe » France » Picardy » Somme June 15th 2013

Dead people. Lots of them. That was our Paris mission for this morning. We decided that a tour of the Paris catacombs might be fun, as Hugo was a bit little the last time we were here. After a quick but delicious breakfast in our lovely little apartment, we were on our way. Well, sort of. A slight bike lock key issue delayed us (it had fallen out of the lock somewhere on our travels yesterday), so we were an hour or so later than we'd hoped to be as we power-pedalled the 4km or so up the Boulevard St Michel. Luckily Bike-About had a spare key. When we reached the big circle at Place Denfert-Rochereau, it wasn't hard to work out where the entrance to the Catacombs was. Unfortunately, all the reports about the queues ... read more
The Lovely Bones
Sorting out the Velib
Our car for the next 6 weeks or so!

Europe » France » Picardy » Amiens June 7th 2013

I had bought a ticket to Amiens in advance. I wanted to go there to see the Amiens Cathedral, listed among UNESCO World Heritage Sites. I had early departure (and cheap ticket) in the morning, but managed to have breakfast (it was scheduled at 7-30, I went there at some 7-20 or so); there was no milk and I had to wait about five minutes. The train to Amiens took an hour and twenty minutes and there were no cancellations or late departures as compared to Rouen. I walked without a map, saw an unusually tall and narrow building in front of the gare – it is called Tour Perret, a 27-storey residential skyscraper. I was looking for signs of the cathedral, and soon its arches showed up. The cathedral is the tallest of the classic ... read more
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Amiens Cathedral




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